Written by Robert Hamilton / Directed by Chuck Bowman
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY ONE
CLOSE ON KATIE -- fidgeting in her high chair. MIKE's hands come
into frame and lift Katie --
It's time to go, little one.
BRIAN enters from outside. He's rather subdued, watches her fussing
Got the wagon hitched.
Mike gives him a quick, nervous smile, slips into her coat, picks
It'll be good to have Sully home.
Yes, it will.
Mike gathers her resolve and they head out the door.
EXT. TOWN STREET - DAY ONE
Mike drives the wagon into town, with Brian next to her holding
Katie, and WOLF (in the back). They drive past the station where
passengers disembark from the train. Mike reins for LOREN, helping
the REVEREND cross the street (with his stick).
Good morning, Reverend. It's wonderful to see you moving about.
The Reverend waves a hand in greeting. Mike is about to drive on
when she hears:
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Michaela -- ?
She turns, off-guard. The voice is vaguely familiar, but...
Uncle Teddy -- ?
Slowly recognizing him...a smile breaking over her face...
+MIKE'S POV (LOOKING TOWARD STATION)
A dapper, distinguished gentleman in cutaway and beaver top hat
approaches, a suitcase in each hand. He is THEODORE QUINN, late
50's, her paternal uncle.
Mike hands the reins to Brian and jumps down, flying toward Theodore
as he sets down his suitcases and sweeps her into a warm bear-hug:
My dear Michaela.
When he releases her, they take a beat to fondly feast on the sight
of each other.
What a wonderful surprise!...why didn't you tell me -- ?
I didn't know myself. I was on my way to San Francisco, and when
I saw how near I was to Colorado Springs, I had to see you --
(turns toward wagon)
-- and meet this family of yours. This must be...
(taking Katie from Brian)
Yes, this is Katie...
Sweet baby, yes -- and...
-- as he moves to the wagon and peers directly up at Brian, who
is holding the reins.
...Brian. I couldn't wait to meet you after all the wonderful things
your mother has written about you.
She has indeed.
(turns to Mike)
Now where is this Sully?
We were just on our way to meet him.
Then I'll join you -- may I?
Why -- why yes, of course. We can leave the wagon at the livery.
Theodore puts his suitcases into the back of the wagon. Brian guides
the horses toward the livery.
Mike (carrying Katie) and Theodore stroll slowly ahead.
Now that you're here, you will stay awhile?
For a few days. I'm about to begin a concert tour.
Did ya really play for the King of Norway, Uncle Teddy?
Uncle Theodore. I'm the only one allowed to call him 'Uncle Teddy'.
(with a twinkle)
Well, perhaps I can make an exception in this case, what do you
Mike smiles affectionately at him, nods. Her uncle brings out the
girl in her, in a way we haven't seen before.
Did ya know I'm taking piano lessons?
Piano lessons? Here? Well, you must play for me.
Maybe you could give me a few lessons.
Theodore beams benevolently, lays a hand on Brian's shoulder. They
have come to a stop in front of:
EXT. JAIL - DAY ONE
Mike looks distractedly toward the jailhouse door.
Brian, perhaps you would like to take Uncle Teddy to Grace's...
But what about meetin' Sully?
I'll bring him over to Grace's.
Where is Sully?
Right in here -- c'mon, I'll show ya.
But, I think...
Too late. Brian eagerly pushes open the door --
INT. JAIL - DAY ONE
-- to reveal Sully, behind bars. Matthew picks up his keys, nods
to Brian, Mike with Katie, and Theodore in the doorway.
Matthew, this is my Uncle Theodore.
Glad to meetcha.
But Theodore's attention is on Sully in the cell. Matthew fits a
key into the lock as Theodore looks to Mike, bewildered --
Sully was incarcerated for an action he took as a matter of principle.
Ah, civil disobedience? Good man. I'm a pacifist myself.
The key turns. The door swings open. Sully and Matthew exchange
an awkward look.
That ain't why I'm in jail. I'm no pacifist.
Theodore glances uncertainly at Mike.
You're free to go.
Sully steps out of the cell. The door CLANKS shut.
Be seein' ya, Matthew...
Oh, uh, don't forget this...
He picks up -- Sully's TOMAHAWK. Sully takes it, slips it securely
into his belt as Brian flings himself into Sully's arms.
I missed ya, Pa.
Missed you, too.
(gazes at Mike)
All of you.
Theodore watches the reunion of father and son, vaguely uneasy.
Wishing she'd had time to prepare her uncle, Mike strives for an
air of proper gentility to put him at ease:
Uncle Teddy, may I present my husband, Byron Sully. Sully, this
is my godfather, Theodore Quinn.
Pleased to meetcha.
No, the pleasure is all mine.
As they shake hands. Mike clasps their hands in both her own, anxious
to put the awkward circumstances behind them:
I've looked forward to this moment for so long -- I know you're
going to be great friends.
She smiles eagerly from one to the other as we
END OF TEASER
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY ONE
Mike, Sully, Brian, and Uncle Theodore (Katie in her carriage) linger
over lunch. (HANK and HORACE at the next table.) Theodore regales
Sully and Brian with a story of Mike as a little girl.
She'd be sitting with a book in her lap at the top of the stairs
above the parlor, pretending to read. But all the while she was
listening to us grownups talk about the immorality of slavery. Every
night, she sat one step lower, until finally, there she was in the
parlor with us.
Mike suppresses a grin as Sully looks at her, amused.
Not too shy 'bout expressin' her opinion?
Theodore turns to see
+ANGLE ON NEXT TABLE
Hank and Horace, eavesdropping and now butting in:
Did Michaela ever get in trouble?
Now wait just a minute...
Well, there was one time...
Really -- ?
Uncle Teddy -- !
(playing the drama)
...when she was abducted by slave traders.
Mike looks at him, mystified.
Ya mean, kidnapped?
That's what we all thought. She vanished. All of Beacon Hill was
in an uproar. Her poor mother even called out the fire brigade.
And do you know where they found her?
I don't remember any of this.
At the hospital where her father was head of surgery, sitting in
the front row of the operating theatre with the medical students.
Can you guess what she said when they found her?
(knows his Ma)
That she was gonna be a doctor when she grew up?
You are very perceptive, young man.
Don't listen to a word of this. He'd have you think I was rude and
forward and disrespectful.
They all laugh.
It was Carleton who put me up to things. Do you remember the time
you found us tuning your piano?
Theodore, uncomfortable, suddenly quiets.
My cousin, Uncle Teddy's son. He was the handsomest boy in all of
Now, now, I think we've bored them long enough with our 'remember
...and I had a hopeless crush on him. You were to give a recital
for the Governor, remember, Uncle Teddy? -- and Carleton...
Speaking of recitals - I will require a place to practice while
Mike and Sully exchange a look of surprise at his abrupt turn. As
they get to their feet:
You do have a piano at home?
From the next table, Hank speaks up.
Got a real nice one at the Gold Nugget. What can ya play?
Well -- everything. Chopin, Mendelssohn, Beethoven....
+HORACE AND HANK
draw a blank. Never heard of 'em.
I'm sure the Reverend won't mind if we use the church piano.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY ONE
The Reverend comes out of the church carrying a valise, gingerly
feeling his way with his walking stick. Loren follows with a heavy
box of books. They load them into a wagon next to the Reverend's
other personal belongings and a few pieces of furniture. The Reverend
runs his hands lovingly over the books.
Sure ya wanna take all those?
Havin' 'em with me'll be a comfort. Did you get the clock from the
Already got one at the store.
Please -- I'd like my clock.
Aw, all right.
He heads back into the church. Not realizing he's gone, the Reverend
goes on to explain:
It belonged to my mother. I remember as a child, waking in the night
and hearing the chimes....
Reverend -- ?
(turning in direction of her voice)
Mike walks up with Brian and Theodore. She looks around, puzzled.
Are you -- alone?
Loren's here --
(vague wave of hand)
I've brought my uncle, Theodore Quinn.
Pleased to meet you.
He needs a piano on which to practice while he's in town, and I
wondered if he might use the one in the church.
Why, of course, that would be fine. Nice to know it's gettin' some
(re: loaded wagon)
Just takin' some a my personal belongin's over to Loren's for the
time bein'. I'm stayin' in Dorothy's old room for now.
Loren approaches, carrying the clock.
And this is Mr. Bray. He owns the general mercantile. Loren, my
How do you do.
Oh, Elizabeth's brother?
No, my father's.
Piano's this way --
Brian leads the way to the church as we hear PRELAP of virtuoso
PIANO MUSIC, OVER -- taking us to:
INT. CHURCH - DAY ONE
Theodore sits at the piano, finishing a showy Chopin Ballade, with
a flourish. Mike and Brian listen raptly. As the last note dies
away, they both applaud. He nods slightly, then pulls another chair
to the piano.
He plays some introductory chords, and a wave of nostalgia hits
For old time's sake.
It's been awhile...
He pats the chair again, indulgently. Obedient, smiling, she takes
her place and together they begin to play a simple but charming
duet. She's a little rusty.
(to Brian, as she plays)
This was the first piece Uncle Teddy taught me to play.
Brian is enchanted. He comes to stand at the piano, watching their
hands. When they finish --
Will ya teach me that?
From what I hear, your playing is already well beyond this.
OFF Brian, basking in Theodore's praise --
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Loren enters with the clock and the box of books, and carries them
through the store toward the stairs...
INT. DOROTHY'S ROOM - DAY ONE (CONTINUOUS)
...and into the room, which will now be the Reverend's. The Reverend
is trying to unpack, but having a hard time of it. A couple stray
socks drop from a stack of clothes he's moving from the valise to
Loren sets the box on the bed, quickly bends to pick up the socks.
He puts them back on the pile as another pair falls. Loren picks
them up, too.
The Reverend dumps the clothes into a drawer in an untidy mess.
Loren looks around for a place to put the clock.
Want your clock on the dresser?
Uh, sure, that will be fine.
Loren puts down the clock and watches, feeling helpless.
If ya need anything...
(determined to make the best of it)
No, I'm fine.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Sully gets on his horse to leave when Matthew stops him.
Hey, Sully -- !
Sully turns to see Matthew approaching with a telegram.
Horace was lookin' for ya. This just come in.
Sully takes the telegram, unfolds it, reads it. It's not good news.
Who's it from?
That the guy that wanted ya for the Yellowstone job?
Sully nods, reading the brief message again. Matthew, very curious,
tries to sneak a sideways glance at it.
What's he want?
The railroad bought right-a-way through the Red Rocks land.
What's he plannin' to do 'bout it?
Matthew gives him a strange look, waits for Sully to go on. But
Sully's said all he means to, at least to Matthew.
What're you plannin' to do 'bout it?
Sully folds the telegram carefully and puts it in his pocket, gives
Matthew a look, and rides off -- leaving Matthew looking after him,
uncomfortable with the new realities of their relationship.
INT. HOMESTEAD - COLLEEN'S ROOM - DAY ONE
Theodore is unpacking. There's a TAP on the door and Mike enters,
holding an early photograph.
I knew I had a photograph of Carleton somewhere. It was tucked into
She holds it out. He glances at it, quickly turns away.
What a beautiful home you created here on the frontier.
Sully built it with his own hands.
He's a fine craftsman. And your special touch makes it a home.
He takes a jacket from the suitcase, hangs it up. Mike sets the
photograph on a table by the bed.
I'll let you finish. Supper will be ready soon.
She exits, pulling the door closed. Theodore picks up the photograph,
sinks down on the bed to gaze at it.
+INSERT OF PHOTO
-- a boy of perhaps 15, innocent, smooth-faced, winsome. Something
about him reminds us of Brian.
Theodore stares at it a long time, lost in memory and despair.
Suddenly a loud THWACK! from outside startles him. He looks out
+VIEW THROUGH UPSTAIRS WINDOW - DAY ONE
Looking down on Brian and Sully as they approach a tree ring target
where Sully's tomahawk is stuck very near the center.
Gonna be hard to beat that...
Sully pulls the tomahawk free, hands it to Brian.
Bet you can do it.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY ONE
Theodore comes out, with Mike, holding Katie, right behind. Brian
takes aim at the target, glances at him.
Watch this, Uncle Teddy.
He lets fly the tomahawk...
...which hits close to the bulls' eye. Sully and Mike smile.
How 'bout that?!
Tryin' to show me up in front a your great-uncle?
Brian laughs, retrieves the tomahawk and holds it out to Theodore.
Here -- wanna try?
My hands have never held a weapon, and they never shall.
Pacifists believe all violence is wrong, Brian.
Sully takes the tomahawk from Brian.
This ain't violence. It's just a friendly contest.
Yes, but to what end?
Sully falls silent, glances at Mike. Seeing Sully's reaction, Theodore
Do forgive me. I'm afraid musicians can be absurdly protective about
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT ONE
We come in on Mike, Sully, Brian, and Theodore finishing dinner.
(Katie upstairs asleep). Conversation isn't coming easy.
Can I be excused? I gots lots a' homework.
He takes his plate into the kitchen and goes upstairs. There's an
awkward lull -- which Mike attempts to fill.
Matthew mentioned you got a telegram from Welland Smith.
Bad news. The railroad's plannin' a spur line right through the
middle of the Red Rocks.
Fixin' to sell land, open it up for homesteadin'.
That will ruin it.
A valley with beautiful rock formations, outside of town. Sully
has been working to secure the area as a national park.
It is very beautiful country around here.
Pretty country that won't be pretty for long 'less we do somethin'
to save it.
How do you propose to do that?
Stop the railroad.
I thought the railroad was improving life on the frontier.
Depends on how ya look at it.
Surely progress is inevitable.
Inevitable ain't necessarily good.
Seeing the conversation veering onto a precarious course, Mike tries
gently to steer it back on track.
I'm sure you'd agree, Uncle Teddy, it's also important to preserve
the natural beauty of the land for future generations.
Of course, the glories of nature, I do agree. But what of the glories
of civilization -- art, literature, music? Take a young man like
Brian. Any father would want those opportunities for his son.
Tension fills the air as Sully steadily eyes him, falls silent.
I'll get dessert.
Mike removes the supper plates and disappears into the kitchen.
After an uncomfortable beat, Theodore clears his throat, tries to
put it diplomatically:
I see you're a man of principle, and I respect that.
I'd say the same 'bout you.
On Mike, spooning out cobbler, overhearing --
I suppose what it amounts to is...
+RESUME SULLY AND THEODORE
...which offers more promise for the future of a young man like
Brian -- protecting a lovely bit of wilderness, or making way for
museums and concert halls?
Sully remains silent. He knows what he'd say, but he isn't sure
Guess that's for Brian to decide.
Yes. It is.
Their eyes lock.
INT. KITCHEN 23C
CLOSE ON MIKE -- a frown on her face as she listens to the two men
she loves so much struggling to get along.
END OF ACT ONE
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY TWO
Sully is hitching up the wagon. Mike has been filling him in on
And so -- your uncle moved away from Boston?
Yes, after Carleton died.
The Boston abolitionists needed recruits, and Carleton signed up
-- against his father's wishes. He left the next day.
She grows quiet, remembering the cousin she loved.
He was killed the second day at Gettysburg. Uncle Teddy went down
by train, walked the battlefield for hours, searching until he found
She pauses, imagining the horror of that experience.
S'enough to make anybody into a pacifist.
Oh, he was already a pacifist as far back as I can remember.
S'pose he wonders what you're doin' in a place like this.
On the contrary -- he loves the homestead. He told me so himself.
I meant, what he said 'bout Brian -- an' about art an' music.
Mike quiets, sensing Sully's hurt.
Be patient with him, Sully. I know his ideas are different, but
that's because he comes from a different world. It's just that he
cares so very much.
Sully isn't so sure -- but he'll do it for her.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TWO
The Reverend walks tentatively across the store, from wall to counter,
his stick held out in front of him. He is counting steps.
Nine, ten, eleven, twelve...
Loren watches anxiously as he finishes sweeping the floor. He's
a bundle of nerves.
(touching counter for security)
Fourteen steps across.
(setting broom down)
Whadya know? - same as before.
Why don't ya take a rest?
I've got to practice gettin' around on my own.
Good morning -- !
The Reverend swings around toward the sound of her voice --
Watch it -- !
-- but as the Reverend turns, the cane catches a glass jar filled
with candy and sends it crashing to the floor.
Oh, I'm sorry...
Loren grimaces, silently counts to ten as Mike and Theodore step
into the shot. The Reverend looks around helplessly, distressed
over the accident. Mike reaches for the broom.
Here, let me help...
No, no, I'll do it.
(glances at Reverend)
I hear Grace is servin' rhubarb pie today. Maybe you and your uncle
would like to take the Reverend over to have a piece.
I -- I'd rather not just now, thanks.
Actually, I'm here to walk you over for your appointment to examine
your optic nerve. I want to see if the swelling has gone down.
Loren stoops to clean up the candy and broken glass. Meanwhile Theodore
has turned to examining the eclectic assortment of goods on the
Are you coming with us, Uncle?
If you don't mind, I'll stay and look around a bit.
Mike leads the Reverend out. Theodore sidles closer to where Loren
is cleaning up.
If there's anythin' I can help you with, just holler.
She's somethin', that niece a yours.
Yes, isn't she? And her husband, Sully -- do you know him well?
He use ta be married to my daughter Abigail.
I didn't know that.
An unspoken question in the air.
She passed away.
Theodore softens -- sharing the pain of another bereaved father.
I'm sorry. How tragic for you.
(sorry he got into it)
Loren goes back to his cleaning up. Theodore pretends to be interested
in a box of cigars on the counter.
Sully is an interesting character. Rather unconventional, wouldn't
(this explains everything)
Lived with Indians, y'see.
(he didn't know)
Ah. I believe Michaela wrote he's an Indian agent?
He was. There was -- trouble. It's a long story.
When I arrived, he was just getting out of jail -- ?
Oh yeah, that was somethin' else. Somethin' 'bout a dam.
A dam -- ?
Yeah. Tryin' to hijack dynamite.
But Loren has already turned to a customer who has entered --
Ah, Miz Hathaway -- I got some new calico in....
OFF Theodore's look of concern --
EXT. MEADOW - DAY TWO
School is letting out. Brian spots Theodore waiting for him, hurries
Uncle Teddy -- !
I was thinking this might be a good time for a piano lesson.
Sure, as long as we're done by four o'clock. Me an' Sully are...
Sully and I.
Forgive me for interrupting, but the way we speak reflects our breeding.
As gentlemen, we would say 'Sully and I'. That way no one will think
us crude or illiterate.
Brian reflects on it for a moment.
Like I was sayin', Sully and I are goin' out to the reservation
at four o'clock.
The Indian reservation?
Yeah, ya see, Sully can't go inside.
He had some trouble with the army and they won't let him in. So
I gotta go in for him to take in stuff for Cloud Dancin'.
He sends you in there, with Indians and soldiers? All by yourself?
OFF Theodore, his concern escalating another notch --
INT. CHURCH - DAY TWO
Brian is at the piano, playing. Theodore stands behind him, his
concerns momentarily swept away by Clementi. As the sonatina comes
to an end --
You have a gift.
Brian, I'm very serious. You play the inner music. That's not to
say your technique is anywhere near what it could be. But one can
He's already imagining Brian's career as a concert artist.
I have an idea. Why don't you and I give a recital? Here, in the
church, before I leave for San Franciso. A surprise for your mother.
Brian grins, delighted.
Can we play that duet you and Ma were playin'?
If you like.
He sits down, plays a few bars, his mind still racing ahead.
A shame, really, that you can't fully appreciate the richness of
the harmony on this tired old instrument.
I got an idea....
SMASH CUT TO:
EXT. GOLD NUGGET - DAY TWO
Theodore and Brian outside the saloon door.
The 'Gold Nugget' - ?
(pushing toward door)
Yeah, they just opened. They got a brand new piano.
INT. GOLD NUGGET - DAY TWO
(Note: This will be our first look at the newly-refurbished saloon.)
Theodore and Brian enter. Taking a moment to look around...
+REVEAL OF THE GOLD NUGGET - THEIR POV
MOVING SHOT over the posh drapes, new wallpaper, brass lamps, Hank
grinning behind the gleaming bar...the saloon girls, a trifle upgraded
and their customers...Horace, dejected and alone, drowning his misery...ending
on the softly oiled piano.
+BRIAN AND THEODORE
exchange a conspiratorial look.
(whispers to Brian)
Perhaps we won't mention this to your mother.
Brian nods solemnly.
Help ya, gentl'men?
(speaking like one)
My Uncle Teddy and I --
-- wondered if we could play your piano?
...I don't think his music's quite in line with my customers' taste.
Theodore drifts over to the piano, lifts the cover, brushes a loving
hand over the softly gleaming keys.
I don't see anybody else waitin' to play.
Nah, I don't think so.
(not giving up)
He played for kings and queens all over the world, and you don't
wanna hear him?
Let him play.
Already seated at the piano. His hands float up, poised in mid-air
over the keys. An expectant hush --
Saloon girls and customers roll their eyes, waiting. Brian, not
sure what to expect, slightly nervous --
CLOSE ON HANDS, attacking the keys, launching into a spirited, rollicking
comes to life, grinning, clapping hands in time to music, feet stomping
on the floor. One of the girls gets up to dance, grabs Horace and
spins him around the floor. Brian, beaming proudly, looks up as
Hey, he's not bad.
The door opens and Sully steps inside beside Brian.
Brian -- ?
Brian turns, sees Sully. The music abruptly stops, as Theodore rises
to stand behind Brian.
I been waitin'. Thought me and you had plans.
Sorry, Sully -- I forgot.
It's my fault. We became swept up in the music and lost track of
Ya ready? Let's go.
Brian and Sully leave. Theodore frowns as his embarrassment is replaced
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TWO
Loren moves the last boxes of vegetables into the store. He closes
the door, flips the sign to "CLOSED".
INT. REVEREND'S ROOM - DAY TWO
Through the half-open door we see Loren pass by, notice something
inside, and stop. He pushes the door wider --
+VIEW INTO REVEREND'S ROOM (LOREN'S POV)
The Reverend, standing at the dresser, obviously frustrated, is
fumbling over the clock.
+CLOSE ON REVEREND'S HANDS
holding a small key. Trying to fit the key into the little hole
of the winding mechanism. Like threading a needle in the dark.
Reverend - ?
The Reverend stares straight ahead, his face twisted in concentration
and helpless rage.
Why do they have to make it - so - impossible?!
Loren hurries over, tries to take the key from his hands.
Here, lemme do it for ya.
But the Reverend angrily pulls the key away. Loren looks at him,
surprised, a little hurt.
I was only tryin' to help.
I don't want help.
The Reverend immediately regrets his ill-tempered remark -- but
can't say so. He half-turns toward Loren. The clock begins to CHIME.
The Reverend listens carefully, as it chimes five times.
Loren suddenly gets it - that's why he wanted his clock, so he could
hear what time it is. He softens, glances at his own pocket-watch.
Time for supper. Ya comin'?
Loren starts out, turns, looks back sympathethically.
I'll bring ya back some meatloaf.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Mike is mixing medicinal compounds when Theodore opens the door
May I interrupt?
Of course, any time.
Brian said he was going out to the reservation.
Yes, he often goes with Sully.
But - the Indians and the army - isn't it a dangerous situation?
I would say difficult, not dangerous. Our closest friend lives there.
She begins to collect her things, repacking her doctor's bag. Theodore
watches her a moment, not at all reassured.
Michaela, dear, I don't doubt Sully is well-intentioned, but I wonder
if he isn't rather impulsive at times, misguided, even. I haven't
wanted to pry about exactly why he was in jail -- but it does cause
me some anxiety with regard to Brian.
You're not suggesting Sully would do anything to endanger Brian?
(caught, backing off)
I assure you I didn't mean to imply that.
But he did, and they both know it. Mike decides to let it pass.
It's wonderful that you take such an interest in Brian. In many
ways he reminds me of Carleton.
Yes. Talented. Bright. Confident.
He turns toward the window, trying to hide emotions suddenly near
the surface. His vulnerability surprises her.
I suppose one never stops grieving for a child.
He stares out, haunted by memory.
Not a day goes by that I don't miss him.
A beat. She moves to him, slips her arm through his.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Sully and Brian [arrive on horseback, with Wolf at their heels,
I'll be over at the general store.
Brian starts away. Sully enters the clinic.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Mike and Theodore look up as Sully enters.
I figured out a way to save the Red Rocks. If I can find another
route for the spur line, a better one, maybe I can talk the railroad
into goin' another way.
Is there a better route?
Cloud Dancin' and the other Indians wondered 'bout Possum Valley
- just north of Cripple Creek road? Might be a little longer but
it's flat, an' prob'ly cheaper to build.
That sounds like a wonderful solution.
I'm goin' out there tomorrow to scout it and draw a map. Told Brian
he could come 'long an' help.
You're taking Brian out there?
(at a look from Sully)
What about his piano lesson?
Sully exchanges a look with Mike. This man tries his patience. A
S'pose we could wait a day.
(he starts for door)
Got some gettin' ready to do.
Sully exits. Theodore] turns to Mike, dismayed.
Surely you won't let him go?
I don't see why not.
Theodore grows agitated and increasingly insistent.
Out into a wilderness valley? Into a confrontation with the railroad?
I assure you, Sully would never do anything that put Brian in danger.
Michaela, please, you must reconsider.
Uncle Teddy --
I will not allow it!
Mike looks at him, astonished. He's never spoken to her like this,
and she resents his irrational demand.
Brian is our son, not yours.
She turns her back and hurries into the clinic as we:
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. GAZETTE - CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER IN WINDOW - DAY THREE
Headline reads: "DAM DYNAMITING COMPLETED".
Theodore stands at the window, reading the article.
Theodore turns to see Hank and Jake walking by.
Ah, good morning. I was just wondering -- is this the same dam that
Sully was involved with?
Yeah. He went up there to try an' 'persuade' the company to change
Hank and Jake laugh.
How is it Sully ended up in jail?
Things kinda got outa hand.
Wasn't Sully's fault, though. Th'other guys started the shootin'.
The shooting - ?
Yeah, big shoot-out.
OFF Theodore, now deeply alarmed --
INT. CHURCH - DAY THREE
At the piano, Brian is playing a Bach invention. He's doing surprisingly
well -- until he hits a wrong note and stops.
It's all in the fingering, here --
(pointing to music)
five, one, two, one, three. Try it again.
Brian plays the passage again -- correctly.
That's right -- exactly.
Theodore stops Brian.
There's a brilliant career waiting for you.
Ya mean - like you?
If you want it.
Playin' music? Makin' people feel what you feel?
Yes, that's right. But you can't get it here. You would need the
proper training. In New York.
New York! But -- who would teach me?
I would. I'd be happy to.
But, where would I live?
You can stay with me. Of course, you'd have to work very hard. But
we'd go to the theater, and to the museum, and in summer we can
have picnics in Washington Square...
Brian's eyes sparkle just imagining such a life. Theodore waits,
watching approvingly, as it sinks in.
But you have to want it, more than anything. You must commit your
life to music.
Brian isn't sure what this means.
What about Ma and Sully and Katie?
You can come back and visit them.
Think about it. We can talk more at tomorrow's lesson.
I won't be here. We're leavin' for Possum Valley in the mornin'.
Theodore smiles patiently.
But the recital is the following day. If you miss the final rehearsal,
you won't be ready.
Maybe we could have the recital the day after.
I'm afraid I'll be gone by then.
I already told Sully I'd go with him.
This is what I mean by a commitment. You have to make a choice.
You can go to Possum Valley any time. But the recital - this is
a step toward your future.
OFF Brian, troubled and confused --
INT. GENERAL STORE - REVEREND'S ROOM - NIGHT THREE
The Reverend is sitting on the bed, taking off his shoes. Loren
enters with tea on a tray, sets it next to the bed.
Here we are...
He puts a cup of tea in the Reverend's hands. Stirs sugar into his
Old habit I picked up from Dorothy. Had to have her cup a tea 'fore
Loren starts to put sugar in the Reverend's cup but stops himself.
He puts the sugar bowl back down on the tray.
If you want sugar, it's here.
The Reverend feels for the tray, finds the sugar bowl, takes a spoonful
and steers it toward his cup, spilling about half along the way.
Loren bites his tongue.
It must have been lonely when Dorothy moved out.
(sips his tea)
Well, it does get kinda quiet 'round here after closin'.
Try spendin' the night in an empty church.
They drink their tea in companionable silence, grateful for each
Shame it didn't work out with that lady friend a while back. The
teacher - ?
Well, I always believed the right girl's out there somewhere. If
I was patient, she'd come along one day. Now --
He breaks off, unwilling to indulge in self-pity. His words set
Loren to thinking.
Such a thing as bein' too patient, y'know. If ya hold on too long,
ya forget how to let go.
They've finished their tea. Loren puts the cups back on the tray.
Thank you. That was delicious.
It's no trouble you bein' here. You can stay as long as ya want.
That's very kind of you, Loren.
Loren starts out with the tray. The Reverend begins to undress,
slipping down his suspenders. At the door, Loren turns.
Want me ta leave the lamp burnin'?
A beat, as Loren realizes: for the Reverend, it's always dark. He
extinguishes the lamp. IN BLACK, the clock begins to CHIME --
Well, good night.
Good night, Loren.
Mingled with the CHIMES, we hear Loren's FADING FOOTSTEPS.
EXT. HOMESTEAD PORCH - DAY FOUR
Mike and Brian take turns churning butter. (Katie asleep in carriage.)
Ma - did ya ever think that Sully was crude or illiterate 'cause
of how he talks?
What makes you think that?
I was just wonderin'.
It's important to learn correct English, but there are many ways
of communicating. How one speaks isn't nearly as important as the
kind of person one is.
Uncle Teddy says it reflects your breedin'.
Mike takes over churning. She can see Brian is wrestling with something
-- and waits.
He said I could learn to give concerts, like him, if I want to bad
'nough. But I have to choose between that an' goin' with Sully to
What - ???
See me and him - he and I - are plannin' a recital.
It's s'posed to be a surprise for you. But if I go with Sully, I
won't be ready.
Mike stops the churn, striving to remain calm.
What else did Uncle Teddy say?
He wants to give me lessons an' teach me. He says I can stay with
him in New York.
Mike is deeply disappointed in her beloved uncle -- and suddenly
furious. Fighting to keep her anger to herself:
Going to Possum Valley will not keep you from becoming a musician,
if that's what you decide to be. As for the recital, perhaps you
can't do both. But it won't be the last time you can play for me.
Brian looks across at --
+BARN - BRIAN'S POV
-- as Sully leads a packhorse loaded with surveying gear out to
where their horses are saddled and waiting.
(calling to Brian)
Ready to go?
Brian looks back at Mike.
Whatever you decide, Sully and I will respect your decision.
Brian deliberates briefly. Then he smiles, vastly relieved.
He kisses Mike goodbye. She gets up, follows him off the porch,
and waves as they mount up and ride off.
We'll be home tomorrow.
A look of determination settles over her face. She pulls off her
apron and looks toward town -- then leans down to pick up Katie.
Come on, little one. You can go see your Auntie Dorothy.
INT. CHURCH - DAY FOUR
Theodore, in shirtsleeves, is lost in an impassioned Beethoven sonata,
pouring his heart out in a passage that seems to carry all the sorrow
and grief in the world.
Suddenly Mike is standing in the doorway. She moves toward him,
not caring that she's interrupting a dazzling performance. He looks
up, startled to find her in front of him.
How could you do that to Brian?
He composes himself, his face settling into a placid stoicism.
I've never known you to be cruel.
Be sensible, Michaela. I am in a position to offer Brian opportunities
for his life that he will never have here.
Perhaps. But that isn't the point. The point is, you're interfering
between us and our son. Why, I cannot fathom.
Of course you can, but you refuse to see it.
Are you criticizing the way we're caring for our children??
I certainly shall, if you allow him to go off on this dangerous
undertaking with Sully.
They've already gone.
Theodore leaps up, adrenalin coursing.
He throws on his coat and bolts for the door.
Uncle Teddy - ? Wait!
EXT. CHURCH - DAY FOUR
Theodore strikes out toward town, as Mike runs out.
What are you doing?
Which way to Possum Valley?
Uncle Teddy - be reasonable.
If you won't tell me the way, I'll find someone who will.
Don't go out there --
I won't stand by and let this man kill Brian, the way your father
Mike is stunned and speechless, as he rushes off.
EXT. POSSUM VALLEY - RUGGED TERRAIN - DAY FOUR
Sully bends over a surveyor's transit, taking a reading. Brian stands
a distance away, holding a stick and a notepad.
(calls to Brian)
Twenty-two degrees, thirty minutes.
Brian makes a note on the pad.
Sully folds the tripod legs together, shoulders the transit, and
picks up his knapsack.
Take a readin' on th' other side of the gully.
They head toward --
+EDGE OF NARROW GULLY
Brian stands looking down. It's not very deep, but it's steep enough
to make getting across with their gear a problem. Sully starts across
a fallen log spanning the gully. Brian hesitates.
+NEARBY - ON RISE OVERLOOKING GULLY
Theodore rides into view. He reins his horse to a stop.
+SULLY AND BRIAN (THEODORE'S POV)
Sully, balancing his gear on his shoulder, walks across the makeshift
log 'bridge'. Once on the other side, he motions Brian to follow.
Brian steps onto the log.
+POSSUM VALLEY ROAD
Mike rides Flash at a gallop along the road.
Brian confidently putting one foot in front of the other, moving
+ANOTHER ANGLE - THEODORE'S FACE
Theodore, seized with panic --
-- as Mike rides up next to him and sees Brian.
Hearing his name, Brian stops, turns his head to see what the commotion
is -- and, as he twists around, he loses his balance --
Sully - !
+ANGLE - MIKE
+CLOSE ON BRIAN
-- as he tumbles off the log into the gully, his leg crumpling under
him as he rolls and tumbles down the steep bank through the rocks
Sully looks down, sees Brian lying in a heap, clutching his leg
and moaning. Sully starts down the gully, half climbing, half sliding,
Mike moves quickly to the edge of the gully. She starts down the
steep bank, half-slipping and sliding, toward Brian. Theodore, pale,
glistening with sweat, remains rooted in place, looking down.
Brian is bleeding from a gash in his head, still holding his leg.
Sully reaches him a few seconds before Mike.
(dazed, to Sully)
Sorry -- I lost my balance.
Wasn't your fault.
Mike rushes to Brian's side, kneels beside him.
Mike checks his injuries as Sully watches, concerned.
Your leg is broken. We'll have to get you to the clinic.
+ANGLE TO INCLUDE THEODORE
at edge of gully, pale, staring anxiously down at Brian.
Is he alright?
I won't know how bad it is until I can examine him.
Brian holds up his hands.
I didn't hurt my hands.
Theodore erupts at Mike and Sully in a sudden blind fury.
What were you thinking? He could have been killed! Have you gone
completely mad, both of you??
He was doin' just fine 'til you showed up.
on her knees next to Brian, staring shocked and heartbroken at the
man she's always looked up to and adored.
END OF ACT THREE
INT. CLINIC - DAY FOUR
Mike finishes setting Brian's leg. Sully and a subdued Theodore
It's a clean break, as I said, Brian. You're going to be fine.
Can I still be in the recital?
Perhaps. We'll have to see how you're feeling.
She turns to Theodore.
May I have a word with you?
EXT. CLINIC -DAY FOUR
Mike faces her uncle, angry and bewildered, not knowing how to begin.
I don't know what to say to you.
Say what you mean.
I always held you in such esteem. My godfather. That man -- the
man I knew? -- he would never be acting this way.
He looks at her, nursing a deep hurt. Turns away.
What did you mean this morning when you said Father killed Carleton?
His nerves raw, the long-hidden anguish comes spilling out.
I raised Carlton to abhor violence. I taught him that war would
Apparently he disagreed with you.
No, your father disagreed with me. Carleton went to him, a man he
revered and trusted, to ask his advice. Do you know what your father
My father would have spoken the truth from his heart.
He told him that any man who abhored slavery and loved freedom should
do whatever he could to end it.
The next day, Carleton was in uniform. I begged him not to go. It
was the last time I ever saw him.
He was a grown man, Uncle Teddy.
It wasn't Gettysburg that killed my son. It was your father. My
brother. And I'll never forgive him. Never.
Theodore marches away. OFF Mike, shocked and dismayed --
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY FOUR
Mike is on her knees in the garden, stabbing at the hard winter
ground with her hand shovel. Sully steps in, seeing her distress.
It wasn't my father who killed his son. He's let his grief turn
him bitter and irrational.
That kinda pain makes a man crazy.
But he was always so fair-minded and reasonable.
When somebody ya love dies, it ain't reasonable.
Mike quiets. She knows he's talking from experience.
Ya blame somebody else. 'Cause who you're really blamin' is yourself.
Mike stops digging, contemplates this. There's a connection.
I think he's using Brian to replace Carleton.
Oughta just let Brian be Brian.
Mike's shovel CLINKS against a stone. She digs it out, regards it
Perhaps I've been doing the same thing with my uncle.
Sully looks at her, doubtful, waits for her to go on.
All these years, I believed he could do no wrong.
Mike nods slowly. It's painful to give up her cherished image of
him -- but it's impossible to hang onto it.
OFF Mike, thinking through the implications of this...
INT. CHURCH - DAY FOUR
Theodore is working off his talk with Mike at the keyboard, not
with showy Chopin or brooding Beethoven, but a sweet and lovely
The door slowly opens, and the Reverend feels his way in with his
walking stick. Theodore stops playing.
Please, don't stop.
I was just finishing.
I'd enjoy hearin' the rest of that. It's beautiful.
He sits down, and Theodore obliges by playing the final section
of the piece. He closes the keyboard, walks out. As he passes the
Thank you very much.
Theodore nods. HOLD on the Reverend. We hear the door OPEN and CLOSE.
He gets up, makes his way to the piano. He opens the lid, places
his hands on the keys. His fingers seek out notes of a piece he
half-remembers, haltingly, stumbling here and there. He stops in
frustration. After a beat, he begins with one hand, slowly playing
a scale, one note at a time. CROSSFADE SOUND to the clock, CHIMING...
+SHOT - CLOSE UP ON REVEREND'S CLOCK (IN REVEREND'S BEDROOM)
The hands point to five o'clock, as the CHIMES finish.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY FOUR
Loren flips the sign to CLOSED. He turns, finds the Reverend coming
from his room.
It's five o'clock. Time for supper.
I was just goin' over ta Grace's.
Mind if I come along?
Now that sounds like the Reverend I used to know.
The Reverend hesitates.
Do I - do I look all right?
Loren gives him the once-over, notices he's got his shirt buttoned
wrong. Starts to lie --
Fine, ya look just fine.
(but, on second thought...)
Aw, here, lemme help ya.
This time the Reverend willingly submits. As Loren rebuttons his
I was thinkin', it'd be nice to have supper together more often.
Make a habit of it.
INT. HOMESTEAD - COLLEEN'S ROOM - DAY FIVE
CLOSE ON photograph of Carleton. PULL BACK to find an open suitcase
on the bed. Theodore is packing to leave. There's a KNOCK on the
door. Mike sticks her head in.
May I come in?
There's nothing left to say.
Yes, there is.
She picks up the photo, looks at it. Hands it to him.
Just because Carleton didn't make the choice you wanted for him
doesn't mean he didn't love you.
I know that.
And you know in your heart my father loved you too. He would never
knowingly have harmed you or your son.
Theodore says nothing. He lays the photo aside, closes the suitcase.
Father didn't fail you. And you didn't fail Carleton.
I could have stopped him...
He breaks down, overwhelmed by emotion. She reaches out to comfort
I should have stopped him.
But you didn't, and that's the truest test of love. Allowing those
dearest to us to make decisions that disappoint us or hurt us, and
loving them just the same.
Theodore looks into her imploring face, sees the forgiveness there.
He softens, gently takes her in his arms.
Oh, Michaela, I've been such an old fool.
(kissing his cheek)
It's time to let Carleton go.
There's a young man waiting for you.
Brian -- ?
He's gone to round up an audience for the recital.
His mind is whirling...changing gears. The recital? We SEE the performer
begin to emerge. But Brian -- can he -- ?
(with a smile)
I think he's well enough to play. And he wants to.
Theodore picks up the photo of Carleton, opens the suitcase, lays
it inside, as we hear, FADING IN, a PIANO, playing the CLEMENTI
INT. GOLD NUGGET - DAY FIVE
Brian sits at the piano facing the quickly assembled audience, which
includes Matthew, Horace, Loren, the Reverend, Hank, the saloon
girls, Sully, Mike, and of course, Theodore. The music of the Clementi
sonatina (heard earlier) ripples brightly through the room.
reveals Brian's hands on the keyboard, his leg in a cast at a stiff
angle below the keys.
As he finishes the piece, the audience applauds warmly.
Brian stands, grinning. Leaning on a crutch, he takes a bow. As
the applause begins to quiet:
Ladies and gentlemen...
(waits for quiet)
...I am proud to introduce, in his farewell appearance before he
leaves for San Francisco -- my great-uncle ...the world-famous ...Theodore
Theodore rises to more applause and moves toward the piano. Brian
heads for a seat next to Mike. As the applause quiets:
Thank you. For my first piece - Brian, will you help me, please?
- a little surprise.
Brian returns to the piano, not too sure what's next. Theodore whispers
something in his ear. Brian grins. As the first notes are struck,
we recognize Mike's childhood duet...
+CLOSE ON HANDS
Brian plays the treble (upper part) of the simple piece, Theodore
embellishing the bass. MOVE UP to their faces, as Brian grins happily
at Theodore, who smiles benevolently back.
her eyes shining, the familiar music sweeping her momentarily back
to childhood, then into the moment again to brush away a tear. As
she and Sully exchange a proud smile, we: